‘ “Romantic Biographies” c.1770-1835’ May 2009

“Romantic Biographies”: Writing Lives and Afterlives, c.1770-1835
The Early Careers and Postgraduate Conference for The British Association for Romantic Studies

8 May 2009 at Research Institute for the Humanities, Keele University

“As little more than an infant, he was walking through a graveyard with his sister, Mary, ten years his senior, and reading the epitaphs on the universally belauded dead — for he was a precocious reader, who, it is said, ’knew his letters before he could talk’. As he came away, he turned to his sister and asked: ’Mary, where are the naughty people buried?’ This, we may be sure, though a joke to the reader, was not uttered as a joke by the small child” — Robert Lynd on Charles Lamb

For the biennial BARS Early Careers and Postgraduate Conference for 2009 we invite papers on lives and afterlives in the Romantic period. In particular, we are interested in biography and biographical criticism, including the receptions and depictions of both major and minor writers and artists who lived between c.1770 and 1835. We are also interested in multidisciplinary conversations about the pedagogical issues associated with our theme, as well as reflections on archival and methodological problems and solutions. We will have a roundtable discussion on Teaching Romanticism, chaired by Professor Sharon Ruston, as well as a roundtable panel on Archival Research, a Q&A session on Academic Publishing, and a Keynote address by Professor David Amigoni.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • The production and reception of Collected Works
  • Biographies, book history & periodical culture
  • The Death of the Author: biographical criticism after Theory
  • Biographical dictionaries & anecdotes
  • “Biofictions” (e.g. Peter Ackroyd’s Blake)
  • Literature: Life: Science
  • Reception histories of major/minor authors
  • Biographies and the new media
  • Genius & Celebrity
  • Biographies after Johnson and Boswell
  • Classical precedents
  • Morality, censorship and life writing
  • Lives and visual art / Lives on stage
  • Published and unpublished letters
  • Autobiographical writing & memoirs
  • Epitaphs & tourist industries

Each paper will last 20 minutes. Please send abstracts of around 200 words to Dr. Daniel Cook. We especially welcome panel proposals. In this instance send us a panel title, a list of three or four speakers and a chair (if appropriate), titles of the papers, and abstracts.

Deadline for abstracts: 19th March 2009

Organisers: Dr. Daniel Cook (Keele), Amber Kay Regis (Keele) & Matthew Sangster (Royal Holloway)